Public lecture to highlight accountants’ new role in sustainability

Public lecture to highlight accountants’ new role in sustainability

22 May 2009

La Trobe University’s Professor Jane Hamilton will throw light on the important contribution accountants make to sustainability when she delivers the 2009 Worner Research Lecture: ‘From bean counting to sustainability reporting: a new role for accountants.’

Professor Hamilton said that accountants will be highly influential in the process of organisational change as businesses respond to the pressures to be more sustainable.

leaf ‘Some research suggests that accountants have a negative impact through imposing cost-benefit analyses which consider only financial issues.

However, other research suggests accountants are very aware of the issues and are helping to strategically guide their organisations through them as well as implementing management systems to collect and report the relevant data,’ Professor Hamilton said.

Professor Hamilton’s lecture will also touch on the ways in which research helps in understanding the lessons learned from high profile accounting scandals. In addition, the impact of government legislation to deal with these issues will be discussed. 

The lecture will provide some background to sustainability reporting and explain the growing interest in the topic and the ways in which accountants are influential in business decisions that consider the interests of the general public. Examples of how La Trobe researchers are contributing to this field through research will be presented.

Bendigo campus Acting Executive Director, Dr Andrew Harvey, said that the lecture will discuss the concept of research in accounting and explain mainstream issues.

‘Discussion about climate change continues to grow and this has made business managers and accountants increasingly aware of the impact of economic activity on the environment,’ said Dr Harvey.

‘Professor Hamilton will discuss how social accounting has contributed to this debate and the ways in which social accounting enables the general public to make better decisions when dealing with business whether as investors, customers, suppliers or “neighbours” in the community.’ Dr Harvey said.

Members of the community are invited to attend the 2009 Worner Research Lecture. The lecture will commence at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 27 May in the Circular Lecture Theatre at La Trobe University. Visitor parking is via gate 4 of the Edwards Road campus in Flora Hill.

Information is available at

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161




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